At the age of 100, Ronald Blythe CBE, who documented the English countryside and a way of life that was swiftly vanishing, passed away.
The author, who grew up in squalor not far from Sudbury, Suffolk, taught himself by taking out books from the library.
His best-known work, Akenfield, is a description of Suffolk village life between the 1890s and the 1960s.
His buddy Ian Collins said of him, “He had this earthy Suffolk philosophy; he was incredibly knowledgeable but he carried it so lightly.”
Being with Ronnie Blythe in one of his books is like traveling on a magic carpet, experiencing all the lovely things that the world and nature have to offer.
Over 30 books were written by Blythe. In the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he received the designation CBE.
The 1975 general cinema release of Sir Peter Hall’s film adaptation of Akenfield, which featured locals, attracted 14 million viewers, according to the film’s producers, when it was broadcast on television.
For the 1972 filming of Akenfield, horses were used to pull a plough in a field of wheat, with farmers and kids wearing attire from the 1910s.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: REX PYKE
In the Akenfield movie adaption, a 1910-style harvest scene was shown.
Blythe, the oldest of six children, came from a long tradition of shepherds and farm labourers and dropped out of school at the age of 14. In 2015, the University of Suffolk gave him and musician Ed Sheeran an honorary degree.
He was a product of the public library system, according to Mr. Collins, who was also one of Blythe’s carers and the literary executor of her will.
He celebrated life instead of dwelling on his personal problems, yet his accomplishments were much greater than most people realize.